By Allison Hamila
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, December 2, 2004
The calendar may say December and the temperature may be dropping, but things are just heating up in the pool for the UA swim and dive teams, who head to Austin, Texas, today for the Texas Invitational.
Hosted by UT and taking place at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, the meet consists of 14 events over three days.
"The invitational is the first time when all the best swimmers are in one pool," said UA head coach Frank Busch. "The competition is a lot keener; it provides the same kind of atmosphere that the NCAA championships have."
Some of the teams in the mix include Pacific 10 Conference schools California and Southern California as well as Wisconsin, which the Wildcats defeated in a home meet at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center in October.
Schools from the Big Ten and Big 12 will compete as well. At least five teams at the invitational finished near the top of the NCAA championship results last year, Busch said.
Busch said he hopes that the team will hit a lot of NCAA marks, adding that after this meet he will be able to tell who will be representing the UA at the NCAA championships.
Busch added that while he expects his swimmers to swim hard every race despite hitting the pool for multiple events, training and mental preparedness play a huge role in this particular meet.
Busch said he expects everyone on the team will perform well, adding that those who have been performing well so far this season will keep their streak going.
"It's all up in the air as to who will be making NCAA standards," Busch said.
"I think we will do well at the meet," added junior Tyler DeBerry, "Based of our performance at USC, everyone feels pretty motivated and confident."
DeBerry said he's also confident in his chances in the meet, citing his own consistency.
"At the meet though, there is more of a sense of team camaraderie because we are not just focusing our efforts on one team," he said. "It's a much higher level of competition, there is more of a sense of urgency."